Donald Trump has received much criticism and derision on his desire to raise tariffs. Many of the pseudo intellectuals on the right believe that tariffs are a detriment to profits and will wreck the economy. The historical facts paint a different picture.
“Free foreign trade gives our money, our manufactures, and our markets to other nations to the injury of our labor, our tradespeople, and our farmers. Protection keeps money, markets, and manufactures at home for the benefit of our own people.”
Throughout the 19th century tariffs were generally high and recognized as a useful tool for both economic policy and fiscal policy. Tariffs are not a black and white issue as so many would suggest. A tariff on raw materials like iron ore, oil and other minerals is a bad idea. A tariff that simply allows a corporation to monopolize an industry and artificially raise prices is also a bad idea. But reasonable intelligent tariffs that protect growing industries and high paying jobs have been a part of economic policy for centuries. Tariffs should also be imposed on those products necessary for the defense of the nation.
In a perfect world with true free trade we would not need tariffs and we would not desire them. The problem actually lies in monetary policy. Unless we are willing to devalue the dollar we have no other mechanism short tariffs to address the trade deficit.
The video at the link below explains clearly that much of the money that leaves the U.S. doesn’t in fact return.